How To Take Care Of An Indoor Cactus

Nowadays, cacti and succulents are highly popular indoor plants, therefore taking good care of them is crucial. They occur in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from the small to the enormous. Because they share traits that enable them to endure in arid conditions, cacti and succulents belong to the same category.

The majority of succulents and cacti are endemic to desert environments. They will therefore thrive in conditions with lots of light, good drainage, hot temperatures, and little wetness. However, some cacti and succulents, like Schlumbergera, enjoy semi-shady and wet environments because that is their natural habitat.

The easiest way to take care of cacti and succulents is to try to mimic their natural environment. The essential factors you should take into account when taking care of your succulents and cacti are listed below.

Light, temperature and ventilation

It is advisable to arrange cacti and succulents in a bright area because they do best with good light sources. A place that faces south will get plenty of light. But be careful not to place them in direct sunlight since the strong light may cause the plants to turn yellow. The best kind of light for growing cacti and succulents depends on the species that you are using. For instance, forest-dwelling epiphytes like Rhipsalis require some shade, whereas an Echeveria requires strong light.

It is ideal to keep the plants cool at night, between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius, during the fall and winter. The plants will survive in high temperatures, but they require sufficient ventilation in the spring and summer.


Since Westland cacti and succulent potting mix has included girt and sand for the best drainage, it is a good compost to use. Additionally, it has the ideal quantity of nutrients for your succulents and cacti.

Watering and feeding

It’s a popular misperception that succulents and cacti just need a tiny bit of water. Although their leaves and stems can store water, allowing them to survive in dry environments, they will not grow in environments with little water. Your cactus or succulents’ ability to develop successfully depends on regular watering. Underwatering results in shrivelling while overwatering stunts growth.

Instead of using tap water to water plants, use lukewarm rainfall. This is because the minerals in tap water can settle on the leaves and accumulate in the soil. Additionally, minerals obstruct the plant’s access to vital nutrients.

Spring and summer

The plants need to be watered at least once a week during the growing season. Give the soil a good soak when watering, letting any extra water run away. Every time you water the compost, give it a little time to dry out.

Utilize Westland Cacti and Succulent Feed, a recommended recipe to use, to feed your plants once a month. They create more robust growth that is more resistant to disease and has superior flowering thanks to it. Simply take a 5ml quantity of the feed from the dosing chamber and mix it into 1 litre of water.

Autumn and winter

The plants enter a period of rest at this time. Reduce watering so that the potting mix dries out in between applications. The type of succulent and the environment it is in will determine how frequently it has to be watered. Winter-flowering cactus should be kept warm and watered frequently now, whereas desert-dwelling cacti don’t need to be watered. Cacti and succulents don’t need to be fed during this time.


The optimal time to repot cactus or succulents that are pot-bound is in the spring. To replant:

  • Before carefully taking the plant from the pot, water it and let it drain. Use folded paper to shield your hands from the spikes.
  • To avoid damaging the roots, remove the old soil from around them with a thin stick, like a chopstick.
  • The new container, which has a slightly larger diameter, should be filled with potting soil before placing the plant inside of it.
  • The remaining potting mix should be added to the pot and compacted.
  • To stop the rotting of injured roots, stop watering for a few days.

The finest care for your succulents or cacti comes from maintaining these conditions. The most crucial thing to keep in mind when taking care of your plant is that you are trying to mimic its natural environment!

How frequently should indoor cacti be watered?

  • Watering cacti should only be done when the potting soil is at least 90% dry.
  • Small to medium-sized indoor cacti, which are succulent plants, often require watering every 10 days or more during the spring or summer and every 4 to 6 weeks during the winter.
  • The ideal way to water cacti is to completely saturate the soil with rainwater or distilled water, and then to stop when water begins to drain from the drainage hole in the potting container.

How can cacti be kept alive indoors?

As long as they are placed in an area that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of sunshine every day, cacti can be cultivated indoors. To ensure they are etiolated, we advise rotating them daily in your brightest windowsill, which is typically a southeast-facing window.

Do cacti kept indoors require sunlight?

There may not be as much as you think to the brief response. The distinctive forms of spiny cactus were created to reduce the quantity of sunlight they get.

One of the causes of their spines, which are really highly modified leaves, is due to this. They would receive more desert sunlight if they were covered in leaves, which would lead them to lose too much of their valuable water.

Spiny cactus kept indoors should typically receive four hours per day of direct, strong sunlight. This means that kids should spend at least four hours each day in a room or close to a window that is highly lighted by natural light.

Holding your hand over a piece of plain white paper in the area where you intend to keep your cactus is a good way to gauge how bright the light is. A clear shadow indicates that the light is sufficient.

How often should a little cactus be watered?

The majority of desert cactus can survive without water for up to two years. For indoor cactus, however, this isn’t true because of the drastically different environmental factors.

Cactus plants in small pots can last up to a month without water. It’s better not to leave them go for too long, though, as if left neglected for too long, they could dry out and perish.

Make sure to hydrate your small cacti well once or twice a week in order for them to thrive.

Despite being drought-tolerant plants, cactus still require watering to survive.

Do I need to mist my cactus?

Regarding how to water these plants, there are various schools of thought, but one thing is undeniable. Don’t mist cacti in the desert. They are not indigenous to areas with high levels of humidity and surface wetness. Instead, they dig down into the earth to extract any lingering moisture from the rainy season. Cacti in the jungle are a little different and benefit from misting. The Christmas cactus is an illustration of this kind of cactus.

Generally speaking, as most planted cacti are desert dwellers, overhead watering should be avoided. Potted plants can be placed in a saucer of water to allow the roots to absorb moisture. After the earth has become wet halfway up, remove the plant from the saucer.

Another way to water cactus plants is to merely sprinkle water on the soil’s surface. Heat, direct light, and the location of the planting are some of the elements influencing the amount of water in this scenario. Typically, once a week is plenty for a slow, deep watering. This could mean soaking a container until water flows out the drainage holes or using a garden hose at a low setting to drip water steadily for many hours into the plant’s root zone.

Just keep in mind to water your cactus plants wisely and to identify the variety and origin of your plants. This can make choosing when to water plants much simpler.

Do I need to water my cactus?

The watering needs of cacti and succulents varies slightly from those of other plants.

Succulents and cacti don’t need as much water to survive as other types of houseplants because they resemble desert plants.

That does not imply that you should skip watering dried-out succulents. But many individuals question if misting succulent and cactus plants occasionally is appropriate.

Succulents and cacti shouldn’t be misted when being watered because it can weaken the roots and promote fungus. Do not shower succulents and cacti with a spray bottle. Spray misting is not only insufficient in terms of water supply; it also runs the risk of making the plants rot.

While it is not advised to spray these plants, there are a few circumstances in which you should sprinkle cacti and succulents.

Cacti can live in bedrooms, right?

Although cacti are attractive plants with powerful protective energies, their spines are an issue. They are pointed objects that project focused energy into the surrounding space and resemble tens of thousands of tiny arrows. Cactuses should never be placed in a living room, bedroom, or front entry because of this.

How long do cacti in homes live?

Carefully! To loop around the top, use either very thick gloves or folded newspaper. With tweezers, you may remove huge spikes that have stuck you. Small spikes can be removed by covering them with duct tape, ripping it off, or quickly massaging the area with a ball of old tights. The experts at suggest using olive oil to refine the final fine spikes.

What pests do you need to look out for?

Verify that the plant’s body (the cactus’ “body”) and the root system are devoid of mealybugs. It is one of the most prevalent and challenging cactus pests, with a fuzzy white wax coating that contains oval insects. Additionally, aphids, scale insects, thrips, and red spider mites (eight-legged pests that cover a plant in a delicate, dense web) can appear. Check for damage and make sure the root system is sound. Cacti that have been kept in excessive moisture for an extended period of time may have rotted “from the pot,” which can also be brought on by fungi and bacteria. The real stem, which is green, may then feel supple.

Are all cacti prickly?

No. Cacti are typically thought of as desert plants, however there are also forest cacti that lack bristles; nonetheless, the variety that can be grown indoors is extremely limited.

How long does a cactus plant live?

Cacti can live for hundreds of years in the wild. They could live for ten years or longer indoors. The issue with old ones is that every single bump, scratch, or imperfection they receive stays with them; as a result, as they age, they start to look less attractive.

Cacti are watered either from the top or the bottom.

Cactuses need regular summertime hydration to grow and stay healthy, but if you overwater it or mist it too frequently, it could rot from the base up.

Follow the advice of knowledgeable cactus growers and water from the bottom. Put the potted cactus in a shallow saucer that is half-filled with water every week during hot weather, or whenever the pot feels light, and leave it there for approximately a half-hour or until it soaks up the water. Enough water will be absorbed by the soil for the plant. Furthermore, since the majority of the moisture will be near the pot’s bottom, deep rooting will be promoted.

How can I tell whether my cactus requires additional light?

Yes! In the restroom, a cactus can grow! A cactus can really extract moisture from the air as needed, making the bathroom a wonderful spot to keep one. But like with growing any cactus, be sure it receives enough light.

Cacti enjoy grow lights, right?

Make sure cacti receive the most light possible whether they are kept inside or outside. If you keep your cacti outside, place them where they will receive the most light possible. Likewise indoors. Ensure they are positioned on a windowsill where they will receive sufficient light.

Your plant won’t live very long if you keep a cactus indoors and put it on a bookshelf, for instance. Although every cactus has a different preference for light, most cacti require strong, direct sunshine. Place your cactus outdoors or on a windowsill, balcony, or unsheltered greenhouse to give it enough light.

Cacti seeds don’t require a lot of light to grow. However, shortly after propagation, seedlings and young plants begin to require significantly more light. A newborn cactus will most likely die now if there is little light.

Artificial lighting for cacti

Use artificial light in place of natural sunlight if you can’t give your adult or young cacti plants access to it. Artificial lighting can be costly, so avoid buying bulbs that burn out quickly and produce little light.

The finest artificial lighting for cacti is provided by LED grow lights like these or fluorescent bulbs/tubes (or even tiny bulbs). Avoid using incandescent or mercury vapour lamps. For instance, 75w grow lights may illuminate a growing space of about 5–10 square feet. The number is frequently higher with fluorescent tubes.

Placing your cactus on a windowsill for light

There are several suggestions that can prevent burns for plants that are kept on windowsills. When it’s really hot outside, sunlight passing through windows will raise the temperature behind the glass by about 50 degrees Fahrenheit while keeping the interior temperature substantially lower.

Your plants may be severely burned by these intense solar rays. So, if it’s over 100 degrees outside, make sure to place your cactus on a windowsill where it is protected from the sun. Cacti with fewer or smaller numbers of spines require greater protection.

This is especially true if your cactus is located on a windowsill facing south, where the sun shines the most. You can shift your cactus to an east or west facing windowsill during really hot weather. If you have a balcony, you can put your cactus there as well. Try to move your cactus outside during the summer months if you can, as windows obstruct the majority of incoming light.

Cacti kept indoors in winter

You’re undoubtedly wondering, “How can I give my indoor cacti light in the winter? So, in the winter, you should put them on the window sill with the most light—often the one that faces south—and give each cactus enough room to get as much light as possible.

Additionally, make sure the windows are clean. Wintertime window dirt accumulation can obstruct up to 25% of entering light.

Protecting your cacti from burns after the end of winter

The majority of cacti grow in environments where they are exposed to natural sunshine all year long. Your cactus may experience burns after the winter if you live somewhere with cold winters and few hours of sunlight. Your cactus haven’t spent a lot of time in the sun over the winter, so when they are suddenly exposed to strong solar rays, they may burn.

For instance, sunshine hours begin to rise in various states of the United States in March or April. Additionally, if you don’t protect your cactus from such intense sunlight, they will burn. The epidermal tissues on the stem may experience necrosis (death), which would impede breathing and metabolic functions. So a burned cactus may even perish or at the very least lose the majority of its spines.

So, how can you keep your cactus from getting burned after the winter? Your goal is to minimise the quantity of light reaching your cacti rather than completely block it. You can accomplish this by affixing some kind of plastic sheet, paper, or even gauze to the glass side.

Do all cacti need bright and direct light?

No, not all cacti require direct, bright light. Because they can be killed by direct sunlight, certain cacti also prefer bright but indirect light. There are some cacti, though, that detest strong light and are severely harmed by it.

For instance, the epiphytic cactus genus Rhipsalis prefers shade and primarily inhabits tropical rainforests despite detesting intense, direct light. There are about 35 different species of Rhipsalis, with the mistletoe cactus, or Rhipsalisbaccifera, being one of the more well-known varieties.

Some cacti, such as those in the Mammillaria genus (including the globe and nipple cactus), barrel-shaped cacti, tiny cacti of the Gymnocalycium genus, or chin cacti, like intense light but may tolerate partial sun.

Let’s not forget that even cacti that like strong, direct light occasionally require a period of low light. After repotting or after administering parasite treatments, protect these light-loving cacti from harsh, direct light. The transitional time following winter is similar.

Cacti and ventilation

As well as dry air, your cactus require sufficient airflow. Make sure to leave a window open if you are keeping your cactus on a ledge so that it may get fresh air. Additionally, for good airflow if your cacti are in a greenhouse, be sure to open a vent (or have an automatic vent).

A greenhouse needs to be properly ventilated, especially in the spring and summer. High humidity and stagnant air are toxic to cacti. In order to give your cactus more fresh air throughout the summer, it is typically a good idea to bring them outside.

Cacti temperature needssummer and winter

High summer temperatures typically cause cactus in their native habitat to go dormant. To endure the intense heat, they now slow down their growth.

And cacti begin to grow as soon as it starts to rain and get cooler. You don’t need to make any changes if your state or country experiences consistently warm winters and hot summers, along with frequent rainfall. Again, the type of cacti will determine everything.

However, if you reside somewhere with chilly winters (like the majority of US states or the UK), you must allow your cactus to grow in the summer and rest in the winter. This is due to the fact that your cactus cannot grow in the dark winter months.

Therefore, if you live somewhere with a chilly winter, you must lower the temps to between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit in order to aid your cactus in going into dormancy (7-10 degrees Celsius).

You will also need to lessen how often you water (once in a week or so). Temperatures must be lowered. Since if you don’t, your cactus will dry out because they will have to evaporate water to stay cool. Additionally, keeping your cactus warm indoors will keep them from falling dormant. even have winter blooms on some cactus.